In addition to the sharing of information, the official start of the transition is necessary before the mechanisms are open that allow Biden’s team to run background checks and security clearances. Without that step, they won’t be able to arrive in Washington, D.C. with a staff that’s authorized to handle the day to day affairs of government—though the lack of clearances didn’t really delay Trump, and they simply ignored the rules. The lack of background checks also didn’t seem to be a concern since Trump’s team didn’t bother to appoint people who were qualified for their roles.The possibility that Trump might not concede for weeks—or ever—means that Biden’s team is also looking at doing the last thing they want to do: start the transition with a lawsuit.Trump’s response was not completely unexpected. After all … he is Trump. So Biden’s staff had already looked into the necessary steps even before the election. That’s why Biden was able to hit the ground running on a transition office and staff who are currently not dependent on Trump’s cooperation. But the current status can’t continue forever, or even for very long. An effective transition is going to require a full exchange of information and co-location of staff to get everyone up to speed before the really quite short window (71 days remaining) closes. – Advertisement – As The Washington Post reports, it’s not just Murphy who isn’t picking up the phone when the Biden-Harris transition team calls. Officials across multiple agencies have already prepared briefing books and set aside offices especially for an incoming administration. Those offices and documents should be available right now. But they’re not. Instead, the Trump White House has spread the word not to recognize the outcome of the election or to cooperate in sharing information. Everything remains locked up until Murphy puts her signature on the paperwork. And Murphy is not about to move until Trump tells her to. On a press call Monday night, Biden’s transition staff discussed some of the information that isn’t available to them. That includes communications with foreign governments, details on national security operations, and even the no longer public data from hospitals on their status during the pandemic. All of it is critical to planning that Biden’s team needs to do well before the step into the White House. All of it is currently blocked by Trump’s refusal to move forward.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – The economy is in recession. The nation is facing a devastating pandemic. Alliances and treaties with overseas partners are in tatters. For Biden to be effective in dealing with any of it, there has to be an effective transition.So, as ABC News reports, a transition official made it clear Monday night that “legal action is certainly a possibility.” Exactly what that legal action might look like isn’t clear, simply because no one has had to take this step before. No matter how nasty elections might have been, White House residents have recognized that not just the good of the nation, but their legacy and the future of their party leaned heavily on how they responded in defeat. Trump simply does not care.